Saturday, March 22, 2014

Appointments to Arizona state commissions and boards - low profile but hardly harmless

Now that most legislative committee work is over for this session of the Arizona legislature, it's time for "old home week".

Also known as "executive branch confirmation hearings".

Actually, it's going to last a few weeks, but you get the point.

Many of the people who have been appointed to one or another commission are former electeds or are well-connected to current electeds.

Just this coming week, various Senate committees will consider the nominations of:

Claude Mattox, Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee, a former member of the Phoenix City Council (Senate Transportation, Monday, 1 p.m., SHR3)

Russ Jones, Arizona Power Authority, a former state representative (Senate Government and Environment, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3)

Gayle Burns, Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board, wife of Bob Burns, former president of the Arizona State Senate (Senate Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1).

The thing is, this stuff is "normal", at least in a "it's not what you know, it's who you know" sort of way.

Once in a while though, there comes once such appointment that makes people go "Hmmmm....".

Such as...

Warde Nichols, Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC), a former state representative (Government and Environment).

There's a bit of "synergy" with this appointment - the GRRC is empowered to block any new agency rules that it deems unfit, and Nichols is a principal of a lobbying firm that focuses on helping businesses avoid or otherwise deal with government rules.

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